Jason's Blog


The weekly adventures of me - it isn't all eyes and storms... I promise!!!


Latest Posts

She Said Yes...

Posted on 15th March, 2018

Hello there! This blog post comes with exciting news attached! To those who are close friends and family members, you will already know this news as we would have contacted you personally (or eventually found out on our social media pages), but on March 12th 2018 I found the courage to ask Hannah if she would like to marry me. Now you'll probably know what the answer was (after all, it is printed in big letters above this post!) I've never been so happy to hear the word "YES!"


Jason and Hannah get engaged, with Hannah showing her engagement ring

She said yes. That's all that matters in the world right now


Many have asked how and where I proposed.  So for those who are interested, here is how it was done (I'll probably leave out some details to keep the wedding speech fresh!).  I have long planned to propose during our upcoming summer holiday in Ibiza, however, Hannah being the bright button that she is (and how bad I am at keeping exciting news to myself), I knew that she had worked it out. This was going to ruin the surprise and have spent the last few months trying to shift attention to hinting it will be during a short break away in Croyde later in the year. 


After a pretty bare work calendar this year, finances were a little tighter than how I usually like them, I even implied that I couldn't afford the ring that she had kindly picked out and sent links about to me.  Little did she know that I had already purchased said ring and it was hiding away.  Still pushing for Croyde and portraying lack of disposable income, the scenario was set that she would have no idea that the question would be asked so soon...  All this planning on how to do this sort of reminds me of How I Met Your Mother, where Barney elaborately plans his proposal to Robin - a scene that hits me in the feels every time I watch it - I've included the scene below


The Robin, one of my favourite How I Met Your Mother scenes (Credit: Ivo Andonov/YouTube)


My plan was not quite as devious or as cunning as Barney's, but I sort of prefer mine as it did result in me becoming the happiest guy in the world!  The rest of the plan sort of was quite basic. Keep the ring nearby at all times and when the moment was right, pop the question. This plan was so it was a surprise to me as well as everyone else, as well as to remove any pressures or expectation. It worked!  As for the rest of the details, you'll have to wait until the wedding speech for that! It'll only be a few years you'll have to wait, as we expect the date to be in May 2020 ;) 


Jason and Hannah as shot by Christy Blanch of www.christyblanch.co.uk

The happy couple, as shot by Christy Blanch of Christy Blanch Photography


 The great news is that the great work in the "Pre-Wedding Shoot" that got many excited about our news last month proved useful - and may have caused me to hurry up and ask the question. I really recommend the fantastic photographer Christy Blanch, who kindly took our photographs in February.  We are still raving about her great photography skills to everyone we meet, so do feel free to check out her website and also consider purchasing one of her couples shoots. It looks like we will be looking to request her skills again in the near future...


Thank you all for taking the time to read our news and we would also like to say thank you to all those who have sent us cards, gifts and posted well-wishes on our social media sites. Until the next post...





Also...if I have stirred your interest of How I Met Your Mother, one of my favourite TV series of all time, Amazon now sell the complete boxset. It's worth a watch through if you haven't watched it before. I have always thought of myself a bit like the lead character, Ted, and like me, he does find a happy ending. I think also it is available on Netflix, although talks of it being taken off do keep surfacing!


Blood, Snow and Cocoadile Tears

Posted on 9th March, 2018

Look at this! I'm writing another blog post. I'm on a roll!  It may be a bit of a weird title for the blog but it sums up the last week or so quite well.  As you may well know (especially if you live in the UK or follow my Storm Chasing Blog), the UK was battered by Storm Emma and a very cold spell from the east (otherwise known as "The Beast From the East"), resulting in chaos as snow brought most of the country to a shut down.


Blizzard-conditions in Yate, Bristol

Blizzard-like conditions in Yate on March 2nd 2018


Thankfully, my locum diary was empty over this period, so I did not have to worry about battling in to see my patients. Unfortunately it did mean Hannah was unable to get to work on the Friday (although fortunately for me, we got to enjoy the snowy weather together!).  More on the snowy weather can be found on my Storm BlogsThe Beast From the East Meets Storm Emma #1 and The Beast From the East Meets Storm Emma #2. Feel free to check them out if you haven't already!


Snow along Shire Way, Yate

Snow conditions along Shire Way in Yate


Although nice to have a break and not have to worry about letting people down due to the bad weather, work has been very quiet of late. It has forced me into re-evaluating the way I work and do feel some work changes may occur following the summer.  That said, I am meeting with a potential new client on Wednesday, which will help make sure I am kept busy up until the Storm Chase this coming May.



I wrote about stress management, whilst mildly stressed. Thankfully I managed to practice what I preached!

With all this time on my hands, I have been able to write a few blogs for both my website and for Prospect Health. I really enjoy writing these blogs as it helps me to both teach training optometrists learn some about working as a qualified optometrist, but also allows me to reflect on my own work.  My latest blog for Prospect Health aims to remind optometrists to be mindful of themselves - we work in a challenging role and stress management is not something we get taught particularly well in university. You can read read Be Mindful...of You! here.


Jason with the College of Optometrists' Handbook

Refreshing my knowledge with the College Guidance for Professional Practice


On top of blogging and refreshing myself on the latest College of Optometrist's guidelines (fantastic guide came through the post this week!), I have had the chance to unwind on my Xbox One. It's been sometime since I've sat down with a good game and this week I have spent a good majority of it trying to complete the Xbox 360 classic, Viva Pinata. The game consists of a garden and some gardening tools, with your goal to transform the garden to allow different species of um...pinata...to come and visit and reside there. It is a logical thinking game and really helped to keep my mind busy during the quiet week. I've finally come to the end...hence the cocoadile tears! (Cocoadile is one of the species before anybody asks...and yes...I do need a new hobby - or work for that matter!)


Viva Pinata for Xbox One

Viva Pinata. With the colourful and happy environment, I wished I was there rather than snowed in!


The final big event of the week involves my first ever blood donation. Hannah has wanted me to come to a donor session with her pretty much since we started dating. Last night (Thursday 8th) was the first chance that we both had the opportunity to do so at her usual location in Stroud.  After polishing off an Empire State Burger at The Lord John Wetherspoons, we walked across to the donation centre. After all preliminary checks, I was soon sat donating blood for the first time. 


Blood bags

I encourage everyone who can give blood to give blood. It's quick, easy and relatively painless!


Interestingly, storm chasing came up as a topic of interest as I was asked if I had any dangerous hobbies or interests. Although storm chasing is potentially dangerous, I am rarely exposed to the elements in a way that injury will result. Additionally, the amount of time I am chasing results in the risk being lessened greatly. I'll definitely be giving blood again when I next possibly can and really encourage those who can give blood to give blood! I've also signed up for the British Bone Marrow Registry, which again is something that people who are able to donate should register for. Those 40 minutes to an hour that you give up really can help save a life. If you are interested in registering, then you can do so via www.blood.co.uk.


We struck gold with this tornado, I'm not sure if I'll see another one quite like it!


The talk about chasing reminds me that it is only a few months before I fly back out to Tornado Alley to witness some of these amazing sights again. If you wish to follow my adventures with Adam and Olly then feel free to subscribe to me on Facebook: eyesonjasonTwitter: @eyesonjason and YouTube: eyesonjason. My Storm Chasing Blog will be updated daily whilst chasing, so feel free to have a read. 


Until my next update, stay safe (and register to donate blood!)




Nearly a Year...

Posted on 1st March, 2018

It's been nearly a year since posting my last blog post (well, non-weather blog post anyway!) and I think it is time that I changed that and made blogging a more regular thing. We've had a pretty hectic start to the year, with Hannah enjoying a trip to Australia with friends in January and the purchase of my new car this year too!


Jason and Hannah on the beach at Pendine Sands

Enjoying the October sun in Pendine, Wales


 The Lacetti was showing its age over recent months and with a big breakdown during our small break at Pendine Sands in October, the car decided to start to need more frequent repairs. I am now the owner of a shiny new Hyundai i30. I'm still trying to get my head around how far car technology has come! The daily drive to work is now much more pleasant! Thank you Berkeley Vale Motors for your help in securing my new car!


My shiny new Hyundai i30

My shiny new Hyundai i30


There have been a couple of weddings that we have also attended; with my cousin Stu tying the knot with Lisa at Eastington Park in October and Hannah's cousin Helen tying the knot with Craig at Manor By The Lake in November.  I love attending weddings and often wonder how my own will look like in the future - people keep asking when that will be - including Hannah! I'm not sure how much more the answer "soon" will let me off the hook from the questioning though!


Jason and Hannah at Eastington Park for Stuart and Lisa's Wedding

Enjoying the wedding reception at Eastington Park for Stuart and Lisa's Wedding


I've also become quite attached to guinea pigs. Our landlord has kindly allowed us to move Hannah's guinea pigs from her mum's house in Gloucester to live with us. Unfortunately we lost Jem late in December through a mix of a respiratory illness, kidney problems and cancer (thank you to Keith at Vets4Pets in Yate - your care was brilliant!) Despite this, we now are enjoying the company of Dill and Boo, two young female cavies and they have been provinding us with hours of entertainment. Hannah has even set them up with an instagram account "@pigletpals", so if you want to see their antics then feel free to follow them!


Dill and Boo, the Piglet Pals

Boo (bottom left) and Dill (top right), keeping us entertained this year


So that is about it in terms of the main catch up, but we do have one other event that I'd like to talk about. Hannah and I were lucky enough to help Gloucestershire photographer Christy Blanch build her couples portfolio. Saturday 24th February saw us head to the grounds of Woodchester Mansion for an outdoor photoshoot. It was crisp morning, but the sun and the frosty ground made for beautiful conditions to have photographs in. Christy was great company and made us feel at ease during the shoot and we have a good 80 photographs that capture us simply perfectly.


Jason and Hannah at Woodchester Mansion - February 24th 2018 - www.christyblanch.com - Christy Blanch

One of the photographs taken by Christy Blanch - fully recommended by us both.

Please check out her work at www.christyblanch.com


I would highly recommend Christy to any couples - even if you aren't yet engaged or married and her pricing is very reasonable for the quality of her work. A link to her blog on the session can be found HERE, where you can see more photographs from our shoot, but please check out the rest of her site at www.christyblanch.com.  I may not have popped the question yet, but I think we may have found a wedding photographer already! Thank you Christy!


Until next time, stay warm during the Beast from the East and thank you for reading!



The week just gone has been probably one of the most exhausting of my career, whereby I think I only managed about 3 routine eye examinations in the 70+ appointments I saw. The rest were either complicated in some way or another, with each patient needing a little longer than the appointment time allocated to be seen. Unfortunately this meant early starts, reduced lunch breaks and also late finishes, so stress levels have risen and energy to do much else than try and relax where possible have not been mustered.  Still, an extra day off this weekend due to it being a bank holiday has really been welcomed and, has allowed me some chance to write this blog post (even if it is 3pm and I'm sat here in my pajamas bottoms still...).


As work is a given in each week, the unexpected storms to hit Britain last Tuesday were a huge bonus and definitely helped make the week more manageable. Leaving work with the knowledge it was going to be stormy (an optometrist is not the profession to have if you like looking at the weather from your office - my room for the day was in the middle of a building with no windows!) I glanced out the third floor window of the eye hospital and was greeted by this monstrous looking cloud:


Stormy view from the Bristol Eye Hospital 

Stormy skies toward the north east of Bristol


Naturally, I rushed out to see the clouds in full view - and they didn't disappoint. The atmosphere was charged and I was very hopefull for some thunder and lightning, although sadly it didn't produce. That didn't stop me from having my forehead glued to the bus window on the way back, watching and hoping though...


I got off the bus slightly early as the walk would take me a route where I can see further in the direction the cells were coming from. With the Netweather Storm Radar open and cells in sight, I calculated that it would be about an hour until another cell passed overhead, so visited the Turnpike pub (near the end of my road) and sat with a beer until it hit. The below video is the result:


April showers over Staple Hill, Bristol on Tuesday April 25th 2017


If you want more Bristol storm action; check out my Storm Blog shortly as I was treated to another show today (and yes...I had to abandon writing this post to follow it!).


Bar a few more days of work and a visit to Gloucester to see Hannah, the week has otherwise been uneventful. Saturday involved a morning of work, before an afternoon editing the website, before I decided to watch Bristol City (sorry for swearing) play Brighton on Sky Sports over at the Bar 501. Although it was entertaining to watch Taylor miss an easy shot again, credit where credit is due, City played well and won the game 1-0. 


The main highlight of the weekend was that of Bristol Rovers' last game against Millwall. Rovers had nothing to play for, Millwall had the Play-Offs to drop out of.  It was a charged game with both teams refusing to be beaten. Some of the players that have been a bit lacklustre of late appeared to be hungry to finish the season with a flourish. Sadly, the first two goals went to Millwall, under quite dubious circumstances - especially their second - with their goalscore a clear 2 yards offside with his strike. Soon after Jermain Easter finished a great eeffort from Billy Bodin to make it 2-1. Our elation was short-lived as Millwall soon made it 3-1 after some poor defending by Chelsea loanee, Jake Clarke-Salter.  


Highlights of Bristol Rovers' defeat against Millwall (Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)


The game went into half time at 3-2 after Billy Bodin set up Rovers' fan and highly ranked player Chris Lines, who drilled the ball beyond the hands of the Millwall goalkeeper. It was a superb shot and well taken goal.  Millwall were looking rather edgy when the second half began and, with the strong wind now on Rovers' side, they pushed forward and applied heavy pressure on the Millwall defence. A free kick just outside the box was awarded after a Millwall foul and Man of the Match, Billy Bodin, stood up and scored a tremendous free kick. 3-3 and as it stood, Millwall were out of a play-off place.


Police and stewards guard the Millwall supporters

Many stewards and police officers surround the Millwall supporters


Tensions were high and, as elated as Gasheads were, I'm sure many were anxious in case there was trouble after the game.  It wasn't long before we lost the ball (a clear foul on Luke James as he was clear through on goal - but not given) and led to a Millwall corner, from which they scored from. The game ended at 4-3 and, despite the loss, most Rovers fans were left feeling exhilarated from an exciting game of football. 


 It's going to be some time before our next game - friendly, competitive or otherwise, so will be a bit of gap before I catch up with my football buddies Jack and Liam, as well as seeing my uncle Andy as often. Still - roll on the 2017/18 season and fingers crossed for another thriller. 


Football Friends

Enjoying the match atmosphere with my uncle Andy, Jack and Liam


And with that, comes the end of another week. Lots planned for this week ahead, so keep tuned for my next update. Until then, have a great week!




P.S. Here is the video of the storm that distracted me from this blog entry! Enjoy!


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Lovely Weekend...Play-Off Hopes Dashed

Posted on 24th April, 2017

After the recent few weeks full of excitement, the last week has quietened down somewhat. Unfortunately I was unwell in the week and also hurt my back helping a patient, which meant that the ability to enjoy life to the full was not easy!  The weekend however, was really chilled and gave me a good chance to recover. Also, those eagle-eyed among you will notice that the Vision Science section of the website has sprung to life. Check it out if you want to know a bit more about how we see...


The weekend mostly centred around Hannah's visit to Bristol, where we caught up with our weeks. It wasn't too long since I visted her in Gloucester, where we enjoyed a day exploring with ingress, as well as made our presence known to the local ingress community. Most of the weekend has been spent watching our current favourite shows: Taskmaster, Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Goodish and The IT Crowd - shows that I have seen before, but are ones I can watch time and time again. It definitely is good to see Hannah enjoying the same things as I do - well I hope she's enjoying them!


Whilst catching up and watching some shows, I failed to remember that Rovers were playing their penultimate game of the season against Peterborough. The occasional check on the results were depressing; Rovers 2-0, then 4-0 down, followed by a brace by Rovers' striker Rory Gaffney to make the final result 4-2. It was a disappointing result as the loss meant that Rovers are now out of contention for the play-offs. What was even more heartbreaking was the fact Southend and Millwall lost as well...meaning we had a real shot of sneaking into the last play-off spot on the final game of the season this coming Sunday... The highlights of the game can be seen below:


"Highlights" of the crushing defeat of Bristol Rovers vs Peterborough (Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)


Disappointment aside, the day picked up. The sun was shining, it was feeling warm and we were meeting my close friends Charlie and Sarah in Fishponds for a meal at Porto Lounge. The lounge is one of many in the south west area and a meal here is a great experience. I have been here previously for breakfast and found the food of high quality. They cater for vegans (although, this shouldn't affect my menu choice...the meatier...the better!) and have a great reputation in the area. I settled for a pint of IPA and a Brunch Burger from the specials menu.  If you are in the Bristol area, then you should definitely pop by and sample the menu. Fun Fact: The first of the Lounges was actually built in an old opticians store (got to like the link to eyes!)


The evening ended with a small drink at the Staple Hill Oak before heading home to watch a few more episodes of Dave Gorman and Taskmaster...it really was a weekend heavy on television!  Another thing both Hannah and I are into right now is the Fallout Shelter game. This "freemium" game has to be the biggest drain on my time...it is so addictive and like having multiple tamagotchis that need pandering to. I was a big fan of Fallout 4 so I also think I may be drawn into this because of that...  I'll let you know how the game develops...


Fallout Shelter

My Fallout Shelter... with world tensions as they are, makes sense to start

planning the construction of one, right?


Sunday soon cameby and, after a lazy start, our day progressed to playing Ingress in Page Park. The weather was once again very warm and skies showing signs of slight convective activity (nothing much...but enough to make me excited for full-blown convection in Tornado Alley next month...). We managed to eat a decent sized Mr Whippy Ice Cream, before slowly ambling back to the flat again to relax in front of another episode of Taskmaster...


I did get a brief interruption midway through, by a neighbour who had rolled his car (by accident) into mine due to a failed handbrake. Thankfully minimal damage was done and if I am honest, wouldn't have noticed if he hadn't informed me... Still, I thanked him for telling me and told him to enjoy the rest of his evening as it appears no harm done.


And with that note...I shall catch you in the next blog post. Have a lovely week! 

A Loss, a Win and an Easter Weekend Blurt

Posted on 19th April, 2017

As promised, the blog continues. Other than a bit of a sickness bug that I'm fighting through today, the last week has been a brilliant one.  It incorporated an Easter weekend, so there were plenty of days off and plenty of time to spend time with the family and see some friends. 


The news of a great start to last Wednesday came in the form of a mysterious package. I was on one of my now regular days off and taking a shower, when my flat buzzer rang. Thinking it might be one of the local kids buzzing it for a prank, I carried on with my shower. When it rang again 30 seconds later, curiosity got the better of me and I rushed to answer it... pretty much giving my hallway a wash with the dripping water of a half-showered me!  It was the postman, informing me of a parcel, of which he was leaving inside the doorway of our reception. Curiosity got the better of me still...and putting on the bare minimum of clothes, I flew down the stairs to find a parcel, addressed to me, awaiting on the bottom step.  I had no idea what it was, or who had sent it... Opening it up, I found it to be a Blurt Buddy Box...


The Blurt Buddy Box (and contents)

A gift from someone who really cares. The box had a bath bomb, tea bags, a pin badge, a pencil

case and a book called "You Are a Badass", which is to help boost self esteem.


"A Blurt Buddy Box? What's that?" I hear you say. In fact they were the same words I used when I opened it up. I've seen many box gifts (such as Loot Crate and MyGeekBox) but didn't remember ordering one. Inside a card saying "Love you xxx" gave me a clue on who sent it. My wonderful girlfriend, Hannah. She had picked up on my phrase "I'm just Jason", which is a bad habit I have - picked up by how some people treat me as someone who won't matter regardless of what they do and say. This box set off a strong emotional pick-me-up and was definitely the highlight of my week. I'm very lucky to have found someone who knows how to cheer me up! 


The Blurt Buddy Box is from The Blurt Foundation, who work on raising awareness about depression and helping those affected by it. It is a wonderful organisation and, although not currently affected by depression myself, I certainly had a real self-esteem boost from receipt of this box. I'll definitely keep them in mind in the future if I see a friend that is down or needing a boost.  You can also support their work by donating to them online. 


Thursday involved a very hectic day of work in Chippenham, with a lot of tricky cases to sort through. The thought of meeting Hannah in Gloucester that evening helped me battle through. I met with her and her mum and I treated them to a lovely meal at the Wagon and Horses Sizzler Pub. After tucking into a sizeable Surf 'n' Turf meal, the rest of the evening was spent relaxing, getting set for the Easter weekend.


Good Friday came quickly and most of this was spent travelling home and tidying the flat. I listened to what seemed like a dire performance from Bristol Rovers on their away game at Gillingham. It was a must-win game in order to keep Bristol Rovers' play-off hopes in tact. Sadly a 3-1 loss, with play-off rivals Southend and Millwall both winning, has really put the fate of the play-off race into the hands of the gods. It is still mathematically possible, but there is a better chance of me winning the Lotto. I embed the "highlights" of the game below.


"Highlights" of Gillingham vs Bristol Rovers on 14/04/2017 (Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)


As disappointing as this was, Saturday was the next on the agenda. More flat tidying (I still wonder how I managed to get the place in such a mess...) and a meet up with my friend Andrew for an Ingress meeting, I prepared for Hannah to arrive. I managed to undertake a big grocery shop (something I seem to have put off for a few months...) so actually had some food in the house. A quiet night in happened, in preparation for Easter lunch at my parents' house on Easter Sunday.  Hannah had prepared a batch of cupcakes to bring along to the meal...she really has such a talent!


Bunny Bum Cupcakes

Bunny Bums - as made by Hannah. I think these were one of the highlights of Easter 2017


The meal was superb (thanks mum and dad!) and it was really nice to see the family - nan, sister and stepbrother (with partners included!). Mum had also arranged a fun activity that day too, one that took us back to being kids again... a full-blown Easter egg hunt!  I wasn't particularly very good at it, but it was fun nonetheless.  After a day of hunting for eggs and eating chocolate in unhealthy amounts, we returned home to prepare for the last big even this Easter weekend... Hannah's first Rovers game...


I was very shocked to know I wouldn't be going to football with just my uncle for this game, but it was a pleasant shock! Rovers were to take on Oldham at the Memorial Stadium, again, another must-win game. It wasn't the most thrilling of matches, but Rovers edged into the lead with a goal from Ellis Harrison. It sounded like Hannah enjoyed her first game and from what she said, it's looking like it may be a regular occurrence... The highlights (below) are much more enjoyable to watch than that of the Gillingham game.


Slightly better work from Rovers in their game against Oldham on 17th April 2017 

(Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)


That concludes this week's bumper blog post - there is lots more happening this week and I aim to update this as soon as the week is over and I have time. But until then, enjoy the rest of your week!


Another week has flown by and we are nearing the mid-point of April 2017. It really is hard to believe that the year is flying by so quickly and it will be storm chasing season in a month's time. If you aren't already following my storm blog, then make sure you check it out!


Rovers had yet more luck on the final run in of games of the 16/17 season with a 1-0 win over Wimbledon. Byron Moore managed to find the net after only 11 seconds of play, making it one of the fastest scored goals in footballing history. The goal was enough to seal victory, although from the BBC radio commentary it would appear Rovers were lucky to hold on to their win. The highlights of the game, including the 11 second goal, can be seen below.


Highlights of Wimbledon vs. Bristol Rovers (Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)


Sunday involved catching up with my girlfriend and we headed out to the Bristol Harbourside to enjoy the warm and sunny weather. It was such a beautiful day out that we really couldn't excuse ourselves if we stayed in. Catching the bus into town, we walked around the centre and across to Hotwells. It was very busy but we still had a pleasant walk. 


Part of the walk we saw some of the model speedboats being raced around - initially we saw two, but they seemed to materialise out of thin air until five were spotted. I managed to take a video clip of them racing around (see below). Definitely a good day for it! We eventually stopped for a drink to refresh ourselves at the BSB Bar on the waterside. Sun and Heineken (with great company) certainly helped top off a great weekend.


R/C Speedboats in Bristol Docks (Source: www.eyesonjason.com)


Our day out ended with a stop off at the Bay Horse (yes...it seems like this place is becoming a regular haunt for me lately), where we refuelled with burgers and hunter's chicken, before catching the bus home. 


This week has already taken off with a great start...and I'll let you know more on my Easter update! Until then, as always, thanks for stopping by.

I Fed a Lamb, Whilst Rovers Tamed a Shrew

Posted on 3rd April, 2017

It's been a busy old weekend for me, with a trip to watch Bristol Rovers take on Shrewsbury Town in their 21st home match of the season, meeting with fellow storm enthusiast and chaser Olly, before having a wonderful day out at Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park with my partner, Hannah.


Rovers, who are looking to sneak in to one of the last play-off positions, took on League 1 underachievers Shrewsbury Town.  Fans were anxious before the match as Rovers usually slip up against teams that foot the table (just like in the Coventry game the week before). We also heard that we had referee Brett Huxtable officiating the game.  Mr Huxtable is infamous for being poor for Rovers and, with his stupendous record this season of making about 4 bookings a game, we feared for the worst.


However, our fears were put aside when he made some rather interesting decisions that favoured Rovers and frustrated Shrewsbury, with Shrewsbury's Yates being sent off for a second bookable offence in the 41st minute. Both Yates and Shrewsbury will find themselves a little hard done-by with the decision that appeared to be rather soft. Shrewsbury's frustrations with the referee would further when a very soft push on Rovers' star man, Billy Bodin, in the box gave Rovers a penalty. Bodin cooly put it by keeper Jayson Leutwiler to make it 1-0. Bodin doubled his and Rovers' tally in the 83rd minute, utilising some skill and wowing the crowd. Sadly, Rovers play-off push was hindered by all teams above them managing to secure 3-points... meaning the hopes for a play-off spot is looking more unlikely due to the ever reducing number of games left to play. 


Taming of the Shrew: Rovers win 2-0 at home against Shrewsbury Town (Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)


In other football news, Rovers fans and Brentford fans were pleased to see ex-Rovers striker, Matty Taylor, miss another sitter for Bristol City. Bristol City lost the fixture against Brentford 2-0.  Going from fan favourite (despite his shots to goal ratio being poor, even though goals scored was high) to Bristol enemy number one with his journey across town, Rovers fans seem delighted with every blunder he now makes on his rare appearance from the bench. We wonder when he will lose favour with the Robins and effectively end his career in Bristol... We shall see...


Cheer up Taylor...You're in the big leagues now (Source: Bristol City FC Official / YouTube)


Away from football, with a nice forty minute brisk walk from Horfield to the city centre, I met with fellow storm chaser Olly at the Bay Horse. The plan was for a beer or two with a meal, to catch up before the upcoming storm season. Olly is also chasing this year on Netweather Tour 1 and I will be following his adventures before taking his place on Tour 2. We discussed a multitude of storm topics; current storms, the anvil clouds that filled the Bristol skyline during the day, the tragic storm chasing accident that occurred on March 28 this year and our hopes and expectations from the coming season. With 2017 already seeing many storm related casualties and large tornadoes - we are very hopeful of an eventful chase season.


Anvil cloud over the Memorial Stadium

The anvil cloud forming over Bristol on April 1st 2017


Sunday involved a trip to Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park, to redeem my girlfriend's gift to me - 2 Adult tickets.  We really couldn't have asked for a better day - the sun was shining and the temperature was pretty good too. We had a wander round the main section of the park and saw plenty of goats, sheep, cows and ponies. As it was spring, there were some lambs, kids and even a trio of piglets running around. Hannah treated me to some feed to feed the animals with and couldn't help but smile when the goats came over. 


A goat comes to say hello at Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park

Can't help but find goats odd - funny, but odd!


After watching some lambs being born in the lambing barn, we even had the chance to hold some chicks and feed a few lambs some milk. It was a fun experience that I would definitely recommend to others should they be in the area and wanting a refreshing and rewarding day out. 


Jason feeding a young lamb some milk

Feeding a lamb... the simple pleasures in life...


To conclude the weekend, we returned to Hannah's mum's house and went out with her and her mum's close friend. The goal? The Toby Carvery in Brockworth. Having an appetite from seeing all of the farmyard animals running around, I decided to go large and pretty much ate more than I think was reasonably possible - but the gammon was worth the effort! 


Sadly now...it is a return to a 5 day week, which looks full to the brim with work! Until next weekend, see you then!


Coventry City vs Bristol Rovers - Away Day

Posted on 27th March, 2017

It has been a full-on weekend to end the month of March 2017 and after a optometry-packed diary, I was more than welcome of the break from work and to decompress fully. I've been working overly hard as of late and trying to fit too much in within a short space of time and as such, have rewarded myself with a week off to mark my 29th birthday (tomorrow, on March 28th).


So what has the weekend had in store? Well, I had secured tickets for Bristol Rovers' trip to play Coventry away at the Ricoh Arena. This was to be my first away game this season and most likely will be my only away game too! My morning started bright an early, where I met my friend Andrew for a pre-journey breakfast at the Staple Hill Oak. Breakfast bap in hand, we discussed our game expectations and caught up over our other mutual interest, Ingress. It was then a trip to the Memorial Stadium for our coach pick-up - and to meet with my uncle Andy. We also had a little spell of making Gloucester Road a little more blue, ready for our trip away...


Ingress Intel Map of Gloucester Road Looking Blue

Making BS7 blue for the Resistance on Ingress. Rovers usually do well when the area is

fielded blue. Will it make a difference today?


Our 10:15 meeting time came pretty quickly and we all boarded the coach. To keep us entertained on the way up, we had a 25 question quiz to compete in on the way. Five rounds of five questions from categories of "Rovers and Coventry", Television, Music, School Lessons and Sport kept us busy for a good half an hour. Surprisingly, we did well - managing a respectable score of 21/25, but many others scored much higher! 


Not long after 1pm, we saw the stadium appear in view and excitement mounted. From the outside, it didn't look like the place had much character, but as we walked around the ground and saw statues and the memorial garden, it began to feel like a great stadium. Our first port of call was to find the bar - and we managed to locate one by their casino. Somehow, two beers and a J2O set us back £16.40, which is stupidly expensive. I guess we were a captive crowd...


Me and the Andrews outside of the Ricoh Arena

The 2 Andrews and myself - excited for a game of football at the Ricoh Arena


We eventually made our way across to the turnstiles and as we entered there were masses of Bristol Rovers supporters all singing the club's songs and in high spirits. It was a brilliant atmosphere and we were soon singing along! It wasn't long before we took our seats and had a fantastic view of the pitch. Unlike the Memorial Stadium, this was an all seater - with fantastic views all around. Unfortunately it did mean we felt a little removed from the action, and affected my opinion on the performance. 


Highlights of the Coventry vs Bristol Rovers Game 25-03-2017

Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube)


From my view, we looked like we had a poor game, nothing quite like the home performances Rovers seem to put out. It was a disappointing afternoon, followed by further disappointment by Coventry's winner around the 80 minute mark that won them the game. Coventry didn't look like a side at the bottom of the table and it was hard to see how we beat them 4-1 on Boxing Day earlier this season.  The ref made some very strange decisions and I believe Rovers had a penalty shout due to striker Luke James being held back as he went through on goal. Sadly...I missed this during an urgent call of nature break...and cannot seem to find footage of it anywhere! 


It would seem that this is Bristol Rovers' play-off hopes gone for the season. Whilst it is still possible, I feel it is too much to ask to press on with so few games left. But I think us gasheads have said this for the last 2 seasons and, with a small inkling of hope, I hope Rovers manage to give us a thrilling end-of-season finale!

CitySocialiser Meet & Rovers Out the FA Cup

Posted on 4th December, 2016

This weekend was not one of my most relaxing weekends, which usually follows that the following full week ahead is likely to be laced with more challenges than usual, but as Christmas is on the horizon I feel the challenge is on. 


Saturday morning was a lovely morning clinic in Chippenham, only marred by the guilt-riddling experience of hitting a bird as it flew out in front of me on the A420.  I am uncertain of it's fate, but it didn't look to good. I still feel pretty bad about it now, but sadly nothing I could have done about it (or can do about it).


Saturday evening involved meeting up for the December Drink with CitySocialiser. For those who haven't heard of or know about CitySocialiser, it is a website that you subscribe to and you can attend social events hosted by other people. It is a great way to meet new friends and to socialise as a group - especially if you live alone. Last night's meet up was at the Pitcher and Piano on Bristol's waterfront.  It was great catching up with familiar faces again and was a much needed release from a few weeks of the illness where I was unable to even contemplate socialising!


Sunday was reserved purely for the FA Cup 2nd round against Barrow. Starting brightly with a Rory Gaffney goal, the game soon fell to pieces, with poor performances all round (officials included).  The game resulted in a 2-1 loss and this saw Rovers out of the cup (yet again to non-League opposition).   The highlights have yet to be compiled, so I leave you with a video of the manager discussing the poor perfomance below.


Darrell Clarke on Bristol Rovers' home defeat against Barrow.  Source: Official BRFC TV / YouTube


Enjoy the week everyone!